GMC Is First Vermont College to Sign
College Presidents Climate Commitment
Green Mountain College president John F. Brennan is the first Vermont college or university president to sign on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment – a group of colleges and universities that have signed their commitment to reaching climate neutrality in their curricula and operations. Participating as a Leadership Circle member, Green Mountain College has agreed to provide both guidance and promotion of the initiative.
The agreement, organized by ecoAmerica, Second Nature and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, focuses on controlling climate change and curbing the emission of greenhouse gases.
“Our nation’s colleges and universities have a critical role to play in the battle against global warming,” said Green Mountain College president, Jack Brennan. “As we educate the leaders of tomorrow who will grapple continually with climate change, we need to lead by example ourselves.”
In brief, the Presidents’ agreement is a pledge to establish policies that will help the College achieve climate neutrality, and then make those policies available to the public.
“This agreement calls for many things that are simply part of the fabric at Green Mountain College,” said Provost Bill Throop. “We begin with our core environmental liberal arts curriculum which assures a sustainability focus for every Green Mountain College student.”
The College has not set a date for achieving “carbon zero” but has already taken many steps to reduce its carbon footprint. In October of 2006, the College began purchasing more than half of its electricity from the Central Vermont Public Service “Cow Power” program, which produces power from methane generated on Vermont dairy farms.
In recent years, the College has done extensive energy conservation work to its 173-year-old campus, including wholesale installation of low-flow showerheads and low flush toilets and campus-wide replacement of incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The latter initiative earned the College recognition from the EPA as the nation’s first EnergyStar Showcase Campus.